Watching the watchmen is no crime, or is it?

From the Washington - Traffic cameras watch your speed, security cameras watch your comings and goings, but is anyone watching the police? Police in Maryland, Michigan and elsewhere would rather you didn't -- particularly not on YouTube. Just last Saturday, Yvonne Nicole Shaw, 27, was arrested in Lexington Park, Md., for recording deputies in her apartment complex responding to a noise complaint. Sheriff's Cpl. Patrick Handy's report explained the arrest: Shaw "did admit to recording our encounter on her cell phone for the purpose of trying to show the police are harassing people." This sounds like she was more of a threat to the jobs of public safety officers than to public safety itself. One is not the same as the other. Read more

What's wrong with this picture? GOP auditor candidate misses filing deadlines

NewsNM wonders, "What is wrong with this picture?" A candidate for state auditor misses the filling deadline for his campaign report. State auditor?????

From NM - Republican State Auditor candidate Errol Chavez missed a required campaign finance reporting deadline on Monday. According to his opponent, it’s the third time Chavez has missed such a deadline during the campaign. As of the publication of this article, Chavez still hasn’t filed his report. He said Tuesday that he hadn’t had time to meet the state mandated deadline for filling his finance report because of “Doctors appointments and catchin up on my domestic responsibilities in las Cruces.” Read more


Amendment to Help Businesses is CRUSHED

Senate Democrats on Tuesday defeated an amendment offered by Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) that would have rescinded a provision of the recently-passed health care legislation that Johanns contends will cripple American businesses and stifle job growth. Speaking at an event hosted by Obamacare Watch at the National Press Club, Johanns slammed Section 9006 of the mammoth bill, which requires a "2,000 percent increase" in mandatory filings of 1099 tax forms for businesses, charities, state and local governments, and even churches. Johanns said Democrats stealthily slipped the onerous new requirements into the bill as an added source of revenue to help foot the overall legislation's multi-trillion dollar price tag, and did not consider the effect it would have on businesses across the country. Read more here:

Progressive Interview with Hugo Chavez Worshipper

Oliver Stone
From Progressive Magazine - Oliver Stone’s documentary South of the Border highlights an essential if overlooked story: This is the world’s only region where the Left has been successful since the Soviet bloc’s collapse, as Latin American leftists swept to power and implemented far-reaching reforms. Stone has dared to make a “counter-myth” to the establishment’s official line on these Latin American leaders, recording a sort of alternate people’s history of the Southern Hemisphere.On June 25, L.A.’s lefty Cinema Libre began its national theatrical release of South near Wall Street in Manhattan, where it earned the weekend’s top per-screen average of $21,000. South’s cinematographer is Albert Maysles (co-director of 1970’s Gimme Shelter); it was co-written by progressive intellectuals Mark Weisbrot of the Center for Economic and Policy Research and Tariq Ali of the New Left Review. Read a portion of the interview with Stone here:

Are You Kidding? No I'm Serious

From the Las Cruces Sun-News - County Commission OKs increase in tax rate - LAS CRUCES - Don't be surprised if you have to dig a bit deeper into your pockets to pay your 2010 property tax bills later this year. Dona Ana County commissioners on Tuesday OK'd this year's property tax rates, which increased in all municipalities and unincorporated regions of the county. But whether your tax bill - mailed out in November - actually rises and by how much depends on your individual circumstances. That's because tax rates are applied to taxable value - a notice sent out in the spring - to get the tax bill. So, if your assessment was lowered in 2010, you might not see a tax increase. However, if your tax assessment was unchanged from 2009 to 2010, you'll see an increase in your bill. For instance, rates for residential properties in Las Cruces increased by 2.07 percent. So, if you own a $100,000 home - full value, not taxable value - in the city, you paid about $910 last year. That will increase by nearly $19 this year. Read more here:

Passenger Rail: Begin serious plans now

From the Las Cruces Sun-News - Editorial - Passenger trains. Pipe dream for here? It's just plain fact that passenger train service running north and south of Las Cruces is not economically feasible ... today. But there were lessons to be absorbed at last week's Las Cruces/El Paso Region Transportation Summit. The biggest may have been to at least be ready on paper - and at least be talking. When a big-ticket project is too expensive today - and passenger rail is just that - the next best thing is to plan for it later. Or light rail? Or high-speed rail? Such major infrastructure projects take years between talking around a table and getting the first dirt plow to the scene. And a big mistake made many times, here and elsewhere, is waiting until it's the eleventh hour before even starting to plan for big projects that we long knew would be needed. When President Dwight D. Eisenhower pushed through the nation's interstate highway system in the 1950s, we really needed it, and it came at just the right time before the two-lane roads made transportation of goods and people a bad headache. Roads between El Paso and Las Cruces will eventually become more and more crowded. Think in terms of our international bridges and that daily backup. Don't wait until the Interstate-10 commute is bumper-to-bumper before deciding to start talks on more modern methods of transportation - in this case the good old rail right-of-way. Read more

Radical Islam Getting a Grip on Turkey

The struggle for Turkey's political soul continues -- and Turkey's self-proclaimed moderate Islamists are winning. The struggle has major implications for the global war on militant Islamist terror groups like al-Qaida. This past Sunday, a constitutional referendum provided the latest battleground for the ongoing political war between Turkish Islamists and secularists. The governing Justice and Development Party (AKP), a political movement openly favoring Islamist policies, advocated the constitutional changes, and it won in a landslide. Fifty-eight percent of the country supported the AKP. The most critical changes affect the Turkish judiciary. Read more here:

Do dishonest campaign ads work? Big shift when Dem poll has Teague leading Pearce by 7 points

NewsNM wants to point out the danger in false ads is seen in this poll number shift. Several news outlets including NM have pointed out that Teague ads clogging the airways are intentionally dishonest such as here by Heath Haussmen in NM . Does dishonest campaigning work? See below.

From NM - A new poll conducted for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee shows U.S. Rep. Harry Teague, D-N.M., pulling away from GOP challenger Steve Pearce in what has been one of the hottest House races in the nation. The two have been neck and neck in polling released over the last few months, but the new poll has Teague leading by 7 points – 51 percent to 44 percent – and over the magical 50-percent mark. The survey of 400 likely voters, conducted Tuesday-Thursday, has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points, according to a DCCC news release. It was conducted by Anzalone Liszt Research. “The more New Mexicans are reminded of the Steve Pearce record – backing the economic policies that drove our economy into the ditch, like protecting tax loopholes that encourage companies to ship American jobs overseas, support for privatizing Social Security and Medicare, and ripping the safety net out from underneath New Mexico seniors – the less they like what they find,” Andy Stone, western regional press secretary for the DCCC, said in a news release. “As this poll shows, voters understand that Steve Pearce is wrong for New Mexico.” Read more


Thomas Sowell - Money of Fools II

Thomas Sowell
Words are supposed to convey thoughts, but they can also obliterate thoughts and shut down thinking. As Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said, a catchword can "delay further analysis for fifty years." Holmes also said, "think things, not words." When you are satisfied to accept words, without thinking beyond those words to the things-- the tangible realities of the world-- you are confirming what philosopher Thomas Hobbes said in the 17th century, that words are wise men's counters but they are the money of fools. Read more here:

Three Juarez Women Murdered

From the El Paso Times - Three women were gunned down at about noon yesterday inside a home in east Juárez, police said. Chihuahua state police counted 34 bullet casings at a house at Manuel J. Clouthier and Fresa streets in colonia Granjero. The victims were shot multiple times. They were identified as Brenda Guillen Ramirez, 25, Yuridia Guillen Ramirez, 23, and Yolanda Ramirez Quiroz, 45. Read more here:

There is only ONE way to cut taxes

From GOPUSA The Loft by Bobby Eberle - With time ticking away until Election Day, the Democrats find themselves facing the perfect storm. Voters have had enough "hope and change," and they are now hoping for a new change. Tax cuts for all. It seems like such a simple concept... let people keep more of their own money, because it is THEIR money. The government should not be in the business of deciding who gets more to spend or what group or activity is "worthy" of a tax cut. The conservative approach is to cut taxes for all, and yet this week we are hearing word that the House Republican leadership may "compromise" and let some of the Bush tax cuts expire. In other words, leaders like John Boehner are considering "compromising" by raising taxes on some Americans. This is NOT conservative, and it is NOT the way to go. First of all, we aren't talking about additional, new "tax cuts."

We are talking about taking the tax rates as they have existed for years and RAISING THEM. There are not tax cuts here.

If the Bush rates expire than those effected will see their taxes go up! The argument is about tax hikes not tax cuts. And second, those 3 percent of people affected by the upper income rates own 50 percent of small businesses. If we want hiring and jobs to come back, that last thing we should be doing is raising taxes.Read more

16th of September Muted by Raging Violence

From the El Paso Times - JUAREZ - Tonight, when Mexico commemorates the bicentennial of its independence, some of its residents will be forced to celebrate quietly at home. For the first time in the history of Juárez, city officials canceled the traditional Grito de Independencia, or shout for independence, because of drug-related violence. Instead, the mayor of the violence-torn city asked residents to watch the formal ceremony on television. "They want us to watch it from home, but it is not the same," said Roberto Aldana, 40. The Juárez resident has taken his children to the city's celebration every year. It usually is attended by at least 10,000 people. Read more here:

Walter Williams - Untrusting Tyrants

Walter Williams
Charles Krauthammer, in his Washington Post column (8/27/10), said, "Liberalism under siege is an ugly sight indeed," pointing out that overwhelming majorities of Americans have repudiated liberal agenda items such as: Obamacare, Obama's stimulus, building an Islamic center and mosque near ground zero, redefinition of marriage to include same-sex marriage, lax immigration law enforcement and vast expansion of federal power that includes unprecedented debt and deficits. The nation's elite and the news media see being against the Obama-led agenda as being racist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, mean-spirited and insensitive. Read more here:

Three States Offer Driver Licenses To Illegal Immigrants & Terrorists?

From Chicago Now Blog - Illegal immigrants are scrambling to gain identification documents since the State of Arizona has implemented Illegal Immigration legislation. As illegals have begun to flee Arizona for fear of being caught, they have set their sights on three specific states that allow them to get licenses without proof of citizenship or residency.Those three states are: Washington, New Mexico and Utah. Washington State and New Mexico have been magnet states for fraudulent document brokers, human traffickers and alien smugglers for years according to Brian Zimmer, president of the Coalition for a Secure Driver's License. The group is a nonprofit research group in Washington D.C.. Officials in New Mexico deny the claim. While Republican lawmakers, in those states, have pushed for tighter laws in recent years they have been thwarted by Democrats. Associated Press analysis of data from these three states show that there has been a 60% increase in licenses issued to illegal immigrants, in the 10 weeks immediately following Arizona's Immigration Legislation. Some other results of the AP analysis:* New Mexico issued 10,257 licenses to immigrants through the first six months of 2010, compared with 13,481 for all of 2009. The pace has intensified since April, when neighboring Arizona passed its immigration law. Read more

No Constituency Moat Around Delaware's Castle

Christine O'Donnell
The "tea party" partied hearty on the last big night of primaries Tuesday. In one of the most stunning results of the midterm season, marketing consultant Christine O'Donnell, backed with endorsements from tea party activists and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, became the latest "outsider" candidate to knock off an establishment-backed Republican by defeating Rep. Michael N. Castle in Delaware's Senate primary. In New Hampshire, another tea party-backed conservative, Ovide Lamontagne, held a steady lead over the establishment favorite, former state Attorney General Kelly Ayotte, in the state's GOP Senate primary with about a quarter of the votes counted. No winner had been declared in the vote at presstime. The big early story in the District of Columbia's closely watched mayoral primary was the logistical breakdown, as new voting procedures and confusion at the polls meant that just a tiny fraction of the votes had been publicly recorded some three hours after the polls closed at 8 p.m.

Ovide Lamontagne
 And in New York City, scandal-tarred Democratic veteran Rep. Charles B. Rangel appeared to be surviving a rare primary challenge, holding a strong early lead in returns in his Harlem district. In yet another tea party-engineered upset, businessman Carl Paladino was declared the winner over former GOPRep. Rick Lazio in New York's gubernatorial primary, and will take on Democratic state Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo. Read more here:

Health Care Overhaul Suit to "Proceed"

A legal challenge to the health - care overhaul signed by President Barack Obama probably will be allowed to proceed, said a federal judge in Florida. U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson in Pensacola said today he will make a decision by Oct. 14 on whether the states have jurisdiction to sue. Sympathizing with the claims of the states, Vinson told lawyers he would probably dismiss part of the lawsuit, while allowing other claims to proceed. “The states are left almost powerless to affect Congress,” Vinson said. “It’s enforced upon them whether they like it or not.” Read more here:

Armstrong Williams - The Endless Wars of Islam

Armstrong Williams
Islam emerged from what is modern day Saudi Arabia in the 7th century, and never looked back. Muslim armies swept across North Africa and invaded Catholic Spain, destroying or converting the Christian communities along the way. They turned churches into mosques, and made Islam the official religion. Muslim armies also took over the Holy Land, destroyed the last non-Islamic Persian empire, and moved into Asia Minor (modern day Turkey). By the 16th century, Islam had destroyed the Christian Byzantine Empire, had taken over Constantinople, and had turned the Hagia Sophia -- the most beautiful church in Christendom -- into a mosque. A century later, Muslim armies were outside the gates of Vienna. Read more here:

“The Squeeze”

The cost of a United States postage stamp is going up….again. New Mexico Gross Receipts tax just went up….again. Food prices have spiked and in many areas triple digit temperatures brought sticker shock to millions standing at their mailbox with a freshly opened electric bill in hand. Property taxes and college tuition are soaring despite declining property values and an education that can only guarantee a lifetime of student loan payments, rather than gainful employment. Travelling costs are making home bodies out of all of us as airlines attempt to boost their bottom lines through baggage, blanket and beverage fees. New menus with new prices greet us at all of our favorite eating establishments as managements struggle to endure dramatic declines in traffic. The unintended consequences of our federal government's meddling with rules and regulations in financial services is making free checking accounts something that is on the verge of extinction.
As every American business owner and every American consumer can confirm, the squeeze is on. It is coming from all sides as the economy struggles to regain its footing. The steel walls seem to be closing in on us daily, inching ever closer, restricting a little more air every minute, leaving us only to wonder where it stops.
As lemons produce a scrumptious summer-time thirst quencher when they are squeezed, in some ways we see the great American squeeze having the potential to result in an overall delicious outcome. More families are eating at home together, there is more energy conservation, more family road trips, more coupon clipping, and perhaps last year’s car model will do just fine for another year. Many long over-due habit changes can pop up as a result of increasing costs. If only elected officials were as aware of the obvious solutions and stop wasting precious resources.
For some U.S. companies, the lemonade is already flowing. Hundreds of companies devote their resources to saving businesses and consumer’s money. Take for example the health care industry: there are members of this industry whose sole purpose is to reduce costs to the health insurers. Along with these companies, the industry boasts hundreds of health care technology companies intently focused on automating physician offices as well as sharing information across various health care providers again resulting in cost savings. There are also companies who pool the purchasing power of millions individuals to reduce the cost of pharmaceuticals as well as companies who streamline the daily operations of health care facilities from food preparation to waste removal. It’s all about reducing costs.
As regulation and compliance costs increase almost as fast as health care costs, companies that can take on and/or simplify those headaches for corporations are in high demand. Companies that supply technology that can reduce energy costs are also growing at break-neck rates and companies that offer automation technologies that save time and labor across all industries are likewise experiencing record profitability. Professional investors must resist the temptation to spend time complaining about the endless numbers of hands outstretched waiting for their respective “cut” and the ever approaching steel walls ready to squeeze the pulp out of a portfolio. Efforts made to find companies that are consistently excelling in this constricting environment are worthwhile. Pouring over the universe of global corporations in order to figure out who the cost savers are and more importantly, how well they are doing in their cost saving mission is wise.
Being ever critical of how the cost savers are handling their own costs is also important. Many corporations are in better financial condition today despite the economic environment due to effective cost cutting initiatives, de-leveraging of their balance sheets and overall vigilance of their operations. This environment has given strong managements around the world the opportunity to shine. The lemonade is much less plentiful for our fixed income investments. Low yields sit at the heart of the squeeze. Attempting to find safe fixed income instruments at reasonable prices these days is like trying to herd cats. It is increasingly difficult to earn “a safe rate of interest” during an era when the Federal Reserve Board is doing everything it can do to help the federal government borrow money at historically low rates. This is a time that the fixed income recipe calls for one heaping cup of patience.
Jim Spence has been in the investment business since 1983. He serves as portfolio manager for Spence Asset Management, Las Cruces, New Mexico.


All Terrain Vehicles Used in Big Border Drug Bust

Border Patrol ATV Unit
Note - The Portillo Mountains in southern Dona Ana County will be designated an ATV-free zone on the border (even for Border Patrol Agents) if the ill-advised wilderness bill pushed by Senators Bingaman and Udall gets passed in the Senate and House. The use of mechanized vehicles is banned in all areas with the "wilderness" designation.
Tucson, Ariz. – U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Ajo Station’s All-Terrain Unit (ATU) seized approximately 1,700 pounds of marijuana Saturday worth more than $1.3 million in the west desert. Agents were tracking foot sign of a group of suspected illegal aliens about 20 miles west of Lukeville, Ariz., when they discovered 84 bundles of marijuana. After securing the area, the agents continued the search for the backpackers but were unable to locate the individuals. The marijuana was transported and processed at the Ajo Station pending transfer to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
With the effective deployment of manpower, technology and infrastructure, the U.S. Border Patrol continues to protect our communities against the flow of illegal drugs. The Border Patrol is dedicated to keeping illegal drugs out of our communities. From Oct. 1, 2009 to Aug 31, 2010, the Tucson Sector Border Patrol seized more than 940,000 pounds of marijuana exceeding $752 million in value. U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.